Sterling Dreamer approaches potential deportation with faith

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Jhonny Guadron, 25, wonders if he will be forced to return to El Salvador, a place he left in 2007 as a 14-year-old. It is up to Congress.

President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA in September 2017. If Congress does not pass the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act in March, it would make returning to El Salvador a reality.  

Yet, Guadron, one of more than 800,000 Dreamers in the United States, approaches his situation with deep faith and gratitude for the opportunity to be a Dreamer.
“My point of view is I completely trust in God,” said Guadron. “I think He does everything perfectly. In His plan, even if they send us back to El Salvador, I need to trust He has a better mission for me.”

Guadron, a parishioner of Christ the Redeemer Church in Sterling, attended Freedom High School in South Riding and now is studying psychology at Northern Virginia Community College.

If he is deported, Guadron said his parents and brother would return to El Salvador, though his dad is a U.S. citizen and his mother has Temporary Protected Status. Guadron and his brother became Dreamers in 2013. The Trump administration canceled the Temporary Protected Status of nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Jan. 8. They were granted the status after the 2001 earthquakes in their country. The Salvadorans have until Sept. 9, 2019, to return to El Salvador or obtain legal residency.

“When we moved here from El Salvador, we didn’t have a way to work or anything like that,” he said. “In El Salvador there are a lot of gangs and people dying. My mom decided to give us a better future so she brought us to the U.S.”

Guadron said there is a different mentality in El Salvador and he brought that with him. “I came here and we started going to school, and I never thought about my future or going to college because in El Salvador no one talks to you about those things,” he said.

Becoming a Dreamer has given Guadron the opportunity to get a driver’s license, go to college and work at a restaurant in Reston.

“You feel secure in a way,” he said. “I feel like being legal here means so much.”

Guadron spoke to the Encuentro gathering in December at St. Joseph Church in Herndon, which included Bishop Michael F. Burbidge.

Father José E. Hoyos, director of the Spanish Apostolate, said the diocese and his office assists hundreds of dreamers with support groups and counseling.

“Dreamers play an important role in our community because they are a living example of faith, prayer, strength and self-improvement,” said Father Hoyos. 

Find out more

Go to justiceforimmigrants.org/take-action/national-migration-week/ for information about National Migration Week, Jan. 7-13. This year’s theme is “Many Journeys, One Family.” See Bishop Michael F. Burbidge’s message at http://bit.ly/burbidgenmw.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018

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